Re-Design: exploring deconstruction, simplification and exchange.

An opportunity to reflect on the future of Re-Design within the spaces of the SDA Bocconi campus


Today was the first event in a series organized by Università Bocconi and Domus, which is hosted on the SDA Bocconi campus designed by Sanaa. The "Domus Breakfast" series – the name of the initiative – includes a series of talks with leading figures from the world of design, architecture and national and international companies to reflect on the meaning of design today and what the future holds for this rapidly evolving sector. The morning was dedicated to the topic of Re-Design and featured talks by Corrado Passera, current Founder & CEO of Illimity and former Minister of Economic Development and Minister of Infrastructure and Transport; Maria Porro, President of Salone del Mobile; David Kusuma, CEO of the World Design Organization; and Stefano Caselli, Dean of SDA Bocconi.


The talk opened with some words from Francesco Billari, Rector of Università Bocconi, who said, "We are in the midst of Design Week, which puts Milan at the center of the world. Likewise, Università Bocconi wants to work to put Milan at the center of the world. The dream of Università Bocconi is to change things, first by training people and then, through a continuous process, by changing the city and its spaces."


Re-Design, beauty and new technologies

This reflection on the concept of Re-Design touched on different areas and showed the many possible perspectives of the issue. Stefano Caselli opened the talk by emphasizing the need, whenever something is re-designed, to find a balance between tradition and innovation, stating that, "to do Re-Design you need a balance between two elements: preserving one's roots and tradition, and, on the other hand, avoiding that tradition crosses over into custom, or the comfort zone. To do Re-Design, one must be able to break out of one's comfort zone, overcoming custom."


And it is precisely the idea of breaking with custom that guided the complex re-design work carried out by Corrado Passera, who deconstructed and reinvented the concept of banking to start Illimity. Starting with the need to give credit to small and medium-sized enterprises, Passera freed himself from all the constraints of the past to build a bank that could adapt to the constant changes of the present. The difference in the success of the project was made by the people, a team from different origins, generations and sectors (almost none from banking) who were able to respond to the constant changes taking place thanks to this diversity.


People also remain central to the re-design work carried out by Maria Porro for the Salone del Mobile 2023 fair. After two years of the pandemic and various challenges, the protagonist of this year's entire project is the power of physical encounter, which has the power to, like nothing else, create opportunities and help people understand the quality of products. The new fair has been reimagined as an ideal city, in which public and private space alternate to encourage interactions between professionals. A question about the future remains, but the hope is that experience will always guide the re-design of future fairs.


David Kusuma, whose work focuses on a design based on the concept of simplification – the more technology advances, the more complex everyday objects become – responds to questions about the future. The task of design today is to simplify the functionality of new products, to make them intuitive and thus break down the barriers that very rapid technological changes might encounter on the path to integration into society. During the talk, they also discussed beauty and how it is a

guiding value for Re-Design, from the beauty of functionality to beauty as an engine for action, a fundamental value that, as is also the case for the SDA Bocconi Campus project, can only inspire one to do better things.


SDA Bocconi School of Management

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